Reports from the Knowledge Labs about our recent findings, research topics, and interviews with lifestyle leaders who are creating their own futures.

How to stimulate your own powers of foresight. Consider the following thought provokers. Ask yourself, in these categories what are the brand new trends and forces? Which are the ones growing in importance? Which current forces are loosing their steam? Which have peaked or are reversing themselves? Which are the "wildcards" about to disrupt us in the future? POLITICAL AND TECHNICAL thought for food: Electronics, Materials, Energy, Fossil, Nuclear, Alternative, Other, Manufacturing (techniques), Agriculture, Machinery and Equipment, Distribution, Transportation (Urban, Mass, Personal, Surface, Sea, Subsurface, Space), Communication (Printed, Spoken, Interactive, Media), Computers (Information, Knowledge, Storage & Retrieval, Design, Network Resources), Post-Cold War, Third World, Conflict (Local, Regional, Global), Arms Limitation, Undeclared Wars, Terrorism, Nuclear Proliferation, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Governments (More/Less Power and Larger or Smaller Scale), Taxes, Isms: Nationalism, Regionalism, Protectionism, Populism, Cartels, Multinational Corporations, Balance of Trade, Third Party Payments, Regulations (OSHA, etc.) Environmental Impact, U.S. Prestige Abroad. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC Food for thought: Labor Movements, Unemployment / Employment Cycles, Recession, Employment Patterns, Work Hours / Schedules, Fringe Benefits, Management Approaches, Accounting Policies, Productivity, Energy Costs, Balance of Payments, Inflation, Taxes, Rates of Real Growth, Distribution of Wealth, Capital Availability and Costs, Reliability of Forecasts, Raw Materials, Availability and Costs, Global versus National Economy, Market versus Planned Economies, Generations: Y, X, Boomers, Elderly, Urban vs. Rural Lifestyles, Affluent vs. Poor, Neighborhoods and Communities, Planned or Organic Growth. Got Knowledge?

<< current

The Journal of 2020 Foresight
Monday, May 02, 2005  

Grand Canyon Expeditions, Life Zones, Tribes, and the Watch Tower

Chapter Three: The Outpost

By Steve Howard, CKO
The Knowledge Labs

Table of Contents
Chapter One: Basecamp
Chapter Two: The Ridge
Chapter Three: The Outpost
Chapter Four: The Tribal Territories

“Clark first met Meriwether Lewis when they were both serving in the long war that was waged against the Native Americans, an encounter that prefigured their famous expedition. Jones invites us to see the Voyage of Discovery on which they embarked at the invitation of Jefferson in 1804 as an expression of Jefferson's geopolitical ambitions - a water route "from sea to sea" would allow the United States to dominate the continent of North America to the exclusion of Britain, France and Spain.”

Jonathan Kirsch

GRAND CANYON, Arizona. We just weren't prepared for the magnificence of the Grand Canyon sunsets, sunrises, and afternoon storms. Leaving Laughlin for Arizona brought no tears or time-extension wishes. All four of us rendezvoused in the hotel's coffee shop at 6:30 a.m. before loading our SUV, crossing over the Colorado River, and getting a jump on our trip through the first of several Arizona counties - Mohave.

Journal of 2020 Foresight: Let's synchronize our plans. Our original itinerary, to loosely trace the major mountain man trails of the westward expansion, yet in reverse, took us out of the Sierras as we followed the Great Basin Trails in California and Nevada. After two unexpected stops in the greater Oakhurst - Yosemite and greater Mono Lake - Mammoth areas on 395, we traveled south and west of Death Valley before turning east towards Laughlin.

Eagle: Here's were we picked up US 95 and took the tour through Needles, where Jedediah Smith crossed the Colorado River in 1826, (intersected famous Route 66 - backdrop for the excellent adventures of Tod and Buzz in the '60s) and then we took 163 to Laughlin. I say we start here out of Laughlin and take I-40 via 68 out of Nevada and into Arizona.

Explorer: I vote not to stay in Williams as AAA recommended. I can't see staying there only for the train trip to and from the Canyon with a bus tour around the rim thrown in.

Trailblazer: I'm with you. In fact, I anticipated that we might change our plans, so last night I “googled” the area in and around the park and found lodging at the Best Western a few miles outside the park. But, it's the only one without a pool.

Pathfinder: Great. I can live without a pool.

J2020F: Me too. What do we have to look forward to once we get there?

Pathfinder: The National Park Service's official map and guide describes the landscape as so uniquethat it startles you for the first time. It is so vast that it is hard to comprehend.

Eagle: So vast? How vast is it? (Rim shot, please).

Pathfinder: I'll give you a rim shot. “As the crow flies 10 miles separates the southern and northern rims, yet as the car drives the trip stacks up to 215 miles. The canyon itself is 277 miles long, 5,700 feet deep at the North Rim, which draws about 10% of the park's visitors. The heavily visited South Rim averages about 1200 feet lower than the north.”

Explorer: Aren't we fairly near Painted Desert?

Pathfinder: What, are you reading over my soldier, now? “It says nearby the multicolored walls to the east, lies the Painted Desert.”

Eagle: And, isn't there a local reservation somewhere near there? This region's environment and climate differs from the one supporting the Great Basin tribes -- like the Paiute(originators of the Ghost Dance spread, first by Wodziwob and later by Wovoka and later triggered Sitting Bull's death), Shoshone(famous in U.S. history as the tribe of Sacagaweawho guided both the Lewis and Clark and Manuel Lisa expeditions and ended up on the silver dollar), Ute and Washoe.

Pathfinder. Right. The brochure says that the western canyon border including Havasu Canyon is part of the Havasupai Reservation - “… an agriculture tribe that preceded the first European explorers arriving in 1540. About 250 tribal members still live in the canyon today.”

Trailblazer: I remember seeing something about them recently.

J2020F: Ah, the driver speaks.

Eagle: Almost. Similar sounding name to us, Hualapai. What you heard is actually a complex and interesting situation. Basically, The 1,500-member tribe shares a 108-mile border with the national park. However, their sovereignty “… allows it to use its 1-million-acre reservation in ways the federal government forbids elsewhere in the Grand Canyon.”

Explorer: I kinda remember something controversial about Evel Kneivel and the Hualapais a few years ago.

Eagle: No, it was his son Robbie who jumped the canyon on their land. Lately the tribe plans to complete a 130-foot horseshoe-shaped glass skywalk to Grand Canyon's dismay.

Trailblazer: A what?

Eagle: The idea is tourists would be able to hang out over the rim and experience the view through the glass floor 3000 feet down to the Colorado River.

J2020F: I've head rumors that these plans are just the beginning. Their critics say the tribe wants to turn the natural wonder into an amusement park - and they're making it fast and easy for Las Vegas tourists to visit and return to the sin city.

Eagle: Well, however it shakes out, I still feel that standing here on the on the rim is an experience to humble the soul.

Pathfinder: I know what you mean. Look around and it's not hard to view five life zones in the Northern Hemisphere, right here in one place. While you can search the four corners of the world, you won't find any other place that vividly lays out such a vast expanse of time before your very eyes.

J2020F: It is truly breath taking when you reflect on just the layers of rocks demarking the Earth's history dating as far back as 2 billion years ago and to a more recent era nearly 250 million years ago.

Pathfinder: Closer in time to our lifetimes, yet nearly 500 years ago, the first European explorers, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado's expedition (Garcia Lopez de Cardenas) recorded sighting the Grand Canyon in 1540 as they searched for the Seven Cities of Gold.

Explorer: Slightly over a hundred years ago, Major John Wesley Powell led the first scientific expedition centuries after Coronado to map the entire length of the canyon. With 9 expedition members he left a town called Green River, Wyoming in the spring of 1898. Six of them made it to the Grand Wash Cliffs on August 30th.

J2020F: For me, I have to say that the canyon tourist area had changed beyond recognition -- not having been here for a number of years.

Trailblazer: What do you mean?

J2020F: I only remember a major lodge and an area where Native Americans danced at different times. And gazing out into the canyon, I have to admit the view looks so magnificent, it seems almost artificial, like some grand Hollywood backdrop.

Explorer: Unnatural? Well the dangers are real enough. We parked our vehicle and hiked and viewed, and hiked and viewed down into the great abyss.

Trailblazer: I'll say. It's a two hour trip down to the floor of the canyon and more than four hours back up to the top. Signs caution not to hike after early morning or late afternoon -- not so much a danger to physical conditions as much as electrolyte level.

Pathfinder: Look at this. At the Bright Angel trail head an open letter from someone in his early 20s recounting how he and a cousin had to be rescued because they misjudged the situation when low on water and food.

Trailblazer: Tourists! Visitors also aren't tuned into the shifting weather patterns. Afternoon rain showers frequent the canyon's summer season at both rims.
Temperatures range 30 degrees from 50 degrees F to 80's degrees F. In the winter, the temperature drops for 30 degrees F to 0 degrees F and heavy snowfalls can close the Northern Rim.

Pathfinder: So, to prevent accidents you are cautioned to stay on trails away from the cliff edges and away from the rims during lightning storms. Even day hikes take you into a world where preparation, self-reliance, and common sense count.

J2020F: Rangers and posted signs remind you that it is illegal to feed deer, squirrels or any other wild animals in the park. Visitors have been kicked, chased and bitten while trying to feed wildlife.

Trailblazer: The climate is extremely dry year-round; you need a minimum of one gallon of water or fluids in the summer for every 8 hours of hiking. High carbohydrates, snacks of grains, crackers, fruits, non-fat energy bars should be eaten every 20 - 30 minutes. Heat exhaustion - 20 case a day -- due to intense dehydration - show symptoms of a pale face, nausea, cool and moist skin, headaches, and cramps.

J2020F: So, you need to bring water, eat high-energy foods, rest in the shade, and cool the body.

Trailblazer: Because, if you really overdue it you can become a victim of heat stroke -- flushed face, dry skin, weak and rapid pulse, high body temperature, poor judgment or inability to cope, unconsciousness.

J2020F: I guess that's the other thing. You can read how the canyon floor is typically 20 degrees hotter than at the rim. It's almost counterintuitive as we peered down under the heat of the summer sun into the shadows and cool green terrain --and river.

Explorer: Check this out. Kolb's studio. Here's what we saw in the IMAX presentation a block from our hotel room. The Kolb brothers explored the Canyon like so many other Native Americans, Spanish conquistadors, mountain men before them.

Pathfinder: The Kolbs took a 1200-mile trek down the Colorado to Needles, California and dedicated a major portion of their lives to photographing the Canyon.

Eagle: The movie speculated about "the Ancient Ones" who probably lived in the canyon and did a decent job reconstructing later “expeditions into the unknown.”

J2020F: Especially telling the story of Powell's scientific expedition. How the team met unbelievable rapids and challenges one after another, not knowing what to expect around the next bend.

Trailblazer: What a major irony. After being thrashed about, boats damaged, supplies lost and one expedition member killed, a small party decided they had enough and took off on foot to hike out of the Canyon, believing it was far safer to do so, than to continue the dangerous adventure.

Explorer: They were never heard from again. They totally disappeared. And, ironically within in a short time the rest of the boats and crew engaged some of the calmest parts of the Colorado River.

J2020F: The one thing I do remember that hasn't changed - and was a tip we heard from almost everyone else who had visited the Canyon - make sure you view the Canyon in late afternoon and early evening to behold the contrasts and vivid colors.

Explorer: I'm glad we did on our way towards the east rim, stopping every so often at a lookout.

Pathfinder: I'm glad we struck up a conversation with that woman who said we needed to visit the Watchtower at the Desert Viewpoint for twilight - her party had entered from the east and said it had been spectacular.

Trailblazer. Me too. Especially when those first rain drops bounced off our heads. Large individual raindrops spit at us for a short time as a storm blew into the canyon with a mist that curtained the sun. Thunder echoed off in a distance.

Explorer: Don't forget those bolts of lightning accelerating to the surrounding ground even though someone told us they were miles away. Running to The Tower's shelter made me feel better.

Eagle: And, it gave us a chance to appreciate the fact that the tower had been painstakingly built to honor Native Americans.

J2020F: I agree. Up the spiral staircase along the rock walls and on each floor a Hopi artist had painted stories and images. As darkness began to encircle us and the storm grew closer, so we hopped in our SUV to return to the hotel. And, once on our way, we sited our first wildlife of the trip. Two bucks with velvet antlers. The only wildlife we saw before leaving the next morning.

Got Knowledge?
Copyright ©2002 - 2006 Aarnaes Howard Associates. All rights reserved

7:06 AM

<$BlogCommentDeleteIcon$> (0) comments
Post a Comment
links to this post

Links to this post:


This page is powered by Blogger.